English Challenge 17

I.  Article

A. Busy Life Syndrome – Link / Excerpt and Questions /

B. Excerpt to Read and Record

  1. This is a real disorder which causes forgetfulness and lack of concentration in people who take in too much information daily.  A good example of Busy Life Syndrome happens when you can’t remember why you just walked into a kitchen or room.
  2. The syndrome was coined by Scottish researchers to describe this type of memory loss.  It is commonly seen among women — hard working mums, wives, nurses, etc.  It can also be seen in men.  Initially, it was common among adults, but now it is being seen in the young.

Causes

  1. According to a Glasgow-based clinical trials company, the syndrome is caused by hectic lives bombarded with information overload from mobile phones, TV, radio, Internet, schools, work, etc. The more things we do and see, the more likely we are to forget things.  Another major cause of Busy Life Syndrome is sleep deprivation — sleeping less than 6 hours at night.  Your brain knows you’re unlikely to need to remember a menial task such as going upstairs to get a book in a few hours, so it erases the memory to make room for more important stuff that you do every day.  Thus, sometimes you can’t remember why you walked into a room.

Pathophysiology

  1. When you limit your rest time, you force your brain to produce excitatory neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine (which is related to the autonomous system to keep you alive), glutamate (which is involved in memory processes that produce pleasure), dopamine, and acetylcholine (which vitalizes muscles). Your body experiences a sense of pleasure that limits you and keeps you stressed, i.e., an addictive situation that involves memory loss and lack of concentration.

Signs and Symptoms

Forgetfulness and lack of concentration

  1. It should be noted that “forgetting” is part of how a healthy brain works.  So, it should be little surprise that useful things sometimes get deleted among the constant memory-dumping that our brains do as everyday housekeeping.  If your brain did not forget things, you would continually be recalling all kinds of useless information.  It would bury you in mental clutter.  Forgetfulness in Busy Life Syndrome should be differentiated from that seen in early onset of Dementia.
  2. The following examples can be seen in Busy Life syndrome:
  • Forgetting what you went upstairs for.
  • Taking several minutes to recall where the car is parked.
  • Forgetting to call a friend back while working from home with misbehaving children
  • Putting things down and being unable to find them soon after.
  • Forgetting something trivial a friend mentioned the day before.
  • Forgetting the name of someone you’ve just met.
  • Briefly forgetting the word for something — the ‘thingamabob’ moment

C. Comprehension Questions

  1. According to this article, what is “Busy Life Syndrome?”
  2. What are at least two causes of Busy Life Syndrome?
  3. Is it normal for the brain to forget things?
  4. If you can’t remember the name of a stranger you just met, could this be because of Busy Life Syndrome?
  5. If you can’t remember the name of your family members, could this be because of Busy Life Syndrome?
  6. Was this article written by an American or a Briton? Give two clues found in this article.

D. Grammar Questions

  1. The original article was written like this:

The syndrome was Coined by Scottish researchers to describe this type of memory loss.  It is commonly seen among women; Hard working mums, wives, nurses etc.  Can also be seen in Men.  Initially it was common among the adults, but now seen in the young.

Identify at least six grammar mistakes.

  1. The original article was written like this:

Another major cause of Busy Life Syndrome is Sleep deprivation; sleeping less than 6hours at night.

Identify at least three grammar mistakes.

  1. The original article was written like this:

…so it erases the memory to make room for more important stuffs which you do everyday.

Identify at least two grammar mistakes.

  1. The original article was written like this:

Your body experiences a sense of pleasure that limits us and keeps us stressed…

Identify at least two grammar mistakes.

II.  Song

A. El Paso – Song / Lyrics and Questions /

B. Story

This song tells about a love story that takes place in the old west in the cowboy days of America. The song lyrics were so long that no music company wanted to record and publish it, but the singer was insistent, the song was released, and it proved to be a big hit.

An unnamed cowboy frequents Rosa’s Cantina, a Mexican saloon in the town of El Paso, where a beautiful Mexican woman named Feleena is paid to dance to music to entertain the customers.  He eventually falls in love with her, but knows that his love is in vain.  She is too beautiful and lovely to care about an ordinary cowboy like him.  One night another cowboy comes into the cantina.  He is handsome and his persona is “dashing and daring” –  so exciting to young Feleena.  He invites her to sit at his table for a drink, and she graciously accepts.

The unnamed cowboy sees this and suddenly becomes insanely jealous.  He jumps up, storms over to the handsome cowboy’s table, and challenges him then and there (immediately at that location) to a gunfight for Feleena’s affections.  The handsome cowboy starts to draw his gun, but the unnamed cowboy is faster on the draw and kills the handsome stranger.

The unnamed cowboy suddenly realizes what a horrible deed he has done — murder!  He must escape, get away, quickly!  He runs out the back door of the cantina, steals a horse, and rides away heading to New Mexico’s badlands where there were no lawmen (sheriffs and marshalls) — only bandits and outlaws — where he would be safe.

He stayed there for an unspecified amount of time and became lonely and homesick for Rosa’s Cantina and Feleena, who had become so much a part of his life.  His love overcame his fear of death, and he jumped on a horse and began riding to Rosa’s Cantina in El Paso to be reunited with Feleena.  Soon he is on the hill overlooking El Paso, and he can see the cantina down at the bottom of the hill.

At that moment, he seems that the law somehow knew that he was returning at this moment, and they were waiting to ambush him. He sees five lawmen to his left and twelve to his right.  In a panic, he decides to charge down the hill to try to see Feleena one more time before he is caught.  The lawmen chase him and begin shooting at him.  He’s hit in the side!  He’s bleeding…and getting tired…having trouble staying on his horse.  He falls off his horse, but his love is so strong that he gets back on the horse and continues riding towards Rosa’s Cantina.  He is shot again in the chest.  He realizes he is going to die, but he continues pushing onward.  He reaches Rosa’s Cantina and falls to the ground.  She hears the commotion, comes outside, sees him fall off his horse, runs over to him, and kneels by his side.  He opens his eyes one last time to look upon her face.  She kisses him…and he dies.

C. Lyrics

  1. Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,
    I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
    Nighttime would find me in Rosa’s Cantina.
    Music would play and Felina would whirl.
    .
  2. Blacker than night were the eyes of Feleena,
    Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
    My love was deep for this Mexican maiden.
    I was in love, but in vain I could tell.
    .
  3. One night a wild young cowboy came in,
    Wild as the West Texas wind.
    Dashing and daring and drink he was sharing
    With wicked Feleena, the girl that I loved.
    .
  4. So in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
    Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
    My challenge was answered in less than a heartbeat —
    The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor
    .
  5. Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
    Shocked by the foul, evil deed I had done.
    Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there;
    I had but one chance and that was to run
    .
  6. Out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran,
    Out where the horses were tied.
    I caught a good one; it looked like it could run.
    Up on its back and away I did ride
    Just as fast as I could from the West Texas town of El Paso
    Out to the badlands of New Mexico.
    .
  7. Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
    Everything’s gone in life; nothing is left.
    It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden.
    My love is stronger than my fear of death.
    .
  8. I saddled up and away I did go
    Riding alone in the dark.
    Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me.
    Tonight nothing’s worse than this pain in my heart.
    And at last here I am on the hill overlooking El Paso.
    I can see Rosa’s Cantina below.
    My love is strong and it pushes me onward
    Down off the hill to Feleena I go.
    .
  9. Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys.
    Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
    Shouting and shooting, I can’t let them catch me;
    I have to make it to Rosa’s back door.
    .
  10. Something is dreadfully wrong, for I feel
    A deep burning pain in my side.
    Though I am trying to stay in the saddle,
    I’m getting weary, unable to ride.
    .
  11. But my love for Feleena is strong. and I rise where I’ve fallen.
    Though I am weary, I can’t stop to rest.
    I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
    I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.
    .
  12. From out of nowhere Feleena has found me,
    Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
    Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for,
    One little kiss, then Felina good-bye.

D. Comprehension Questions

  1. What is El Paso?
  2. What is Rosa’s Cantina?
  3. Who is Feleena?
  4. Describe the cowboy who is the protagonist in this song.
  5. What does “dashing and daring” mean?
  6. What unfortunate event happens in this song and why?
  7. What was the cowboy’s response to this unfortunate event?
  8. While in the badlands of New Mexico, the cowboy experienced a “pain in his heart”.
  9. Why did the cowboy return to Rosa’s Cantina at the end of the song?
  10. Why did the cowboy fall off his horse at the end of the song?
  11. From this song, do you think Feleena loved the cowboy as a friend or as a lover?
  12. Would you like to know more about Feleena?  If yes, listen to this song.

III. TED Talk

A. What We’re Learning from Online Education – Link / Excerpt & Questions /

B. Read and Record – Excerpt

C. Comprehension Questions

D. Grammar Analysis

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